I know I'm ridiculously philosophical in my life observations sometimes--often about things that don't amount to much of anything. So just humor me and patiently hear me out for a minute.
Today as I was driving to the church (burning gold in my gas tank every inch of the way), I was contemplating how incredibly complicated everyone's life is. I saw people busily doing their thing--whether it was working, washing their cars, heading to the beach, mowing lawns, or whatever. And all this on a "relaxing" Southern California Saturday afternoon! (When we were in New York last summer, I was overwhelmed by that sense of complexity--especially when walking the sidewalks of Times Square. Tens of thousands of people crammed into a small space, moving at breakneck speed.) If there is a word to describe the majority of humanity, it would be "busy."
Another odd philosophical-type quirk about me is that I often find myself thinking about what might be happening at any given moment in any given time zone, on any hemisphere. Early summer here in America--early winter in Australia. Mid-afternoon here in California--middle of the night in Germany--next morning in the Philippines! I imagine tourists in Paris enjoying candlelight dinners at sidewalk cafes at the very same moment tourists in Hawaii are just opening their eyes to face a new day's adventure in paradise.
Then it struck me rather dramatically--in spite of its glaring obviousness: in little more than the time it takes to say one's name, every human being on this planet has taken a breath--regardless of time zone or hemispheric locale or the infinite kinds of individual activities that occupy our attention. Breathing is the one constant, moment-by-moment common denominator that links us to each other. Billions of people practically simultaneously breathing in and breathing out. Although the reality of that observation is so blatently obvious, we seldom ever stop to think about it. Wouldn't it be interesting if at a packed Super Bowl, or on Times Square, or any other insanely populated location everyone stopped talking and moving and just breathed? I wonder what it would sound like, all of that inhaling and exhaling being the focus of everyone's attention?
The truth is, whether we focus upon it or not, it's happening. If we happen to focus on it from time to time, we'll realize that every breath is a gift--a gift from God. We'll realize that we are privileged to share this moment in time with billions of other people that God loves. We'll realize that as we remain alive--one breath at a time--His Spirit in us ("inspiration" and "animation") is what makes "living" have meaning.
Okay, I feel better now.